I’ve known Boe Parrish since he was the Children’s Minister at MetroChurch back in the early 90s. I first saw him providing a chapel service for the Oklahoma Christians Schools (OCS) elementary group. The students were sitting on the floor in an auditorium, and he was standing on the stage sharing an object lesson with them in what I can only describe as a loving and regulated voice. As I leaned against the back wall waiting for chapel to be over so I could take my daughter to the dentist, I asked someone his name. Later, I began teaching at the OCS high school and saw him from time to time on campus. A few years later I recall that he wrote a book. Then I think I saw him on and off at Panera Bread in Edmond for several years, either having breakfast by himself or with a friend – sometimes praying, sometimes studying, sometimes listening. Later he was helpful in facilitating information about a former student who got hit by an SUV while out of state, then again…facilitating information about a dear friend who recently died. Boe has been in the periphery of my life for a good long time now.
As I was preparing this post I kept thinking back to my memories of interactions with Boe. My predominant thought is to recall him looking up, meeting my eyes, and smiling. His smile hasn’t changed and is almost an institution in the City of Edmond. It genuinely warms my spirit each time I meet the glance of his face. Which leads me to the reason I’m sharing his narrative with you today…
Boe has been posting snapped photos of early morning sunrises in Oklahoma on Facebook for quite some time. His folder now has over 40 of them. He’ll post one about every week or so…sometimes a few at a time. I always enjoyed them but never knew the context for which he was gathering these brief moments of outdoor beauty or why he shares them. Now I do. It seems that he’s somewhat of a transportation service provider to a couple of his family members…but I’ll let you read the story in his own words. Then I’ll share with you a few of his “Simply Glorious” (his title for the photo folder in which he stores them) sunrises he’s enjoyed over the past year or so. Okay, I’m sharing nineteen of them. So, for your “Almost Silent Sunday” moment with the RDC, here are Bo’s Sunrise Stories, provided in his words and with his cell phone or camera:
Serving @ Daybreak
The last year and a half I have been taking my son-in-law to work in the morning. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, he doesn’t drive and never has. He has always caught a ride with others, or just rode a bus to work. Second, my daughter opens the Starbucks store at 5 AM, so she isn’t available to drive him.
While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, let me describe what the typical morning looks like. I arise most days around 4:45 so I can eat breakfast, set out my wife and mother-in-law’s cereal bowls, cereal, coffee cups, banana, juice, etc., and get showered to leave by around 6:00 AM.
Next I drive about fifteen miles west to the Starbucks store where my daughter is employed, grab her car and drive to their apartment and pick up Josh, then I take him approximately twenty-five miles away where he is employed by a landscaping business. After dropping him off, I then go back to Starbucks and leave my daughter’s car and get my car so I can begin my workday.
Can I tell you that getting up so early, and spending nearly two hours in the car, doesn’t really excite me. That driving out on bumpy old dirt roads doesn’t do much for me either. But knowing I am helping my daughter and son-in-law, just about makes up for everything. I’m reminded frequently that while serving others is rewarding, is is rarely convenient or easy.
In serving my family in this manner, I’ve discovered something astounding! My attitude in serving is a choice every single morning. I can look for the blessing, or I can choose to serve, but in my heart, be resentful for this horrible inconvenience. I obviously have discovered the blessing. I have an opportunity each morning to deposit nuggets of spiritual truth into the heart of newest family member.
Along with that blessing, I witnessed some of the most majestic and glorious sunrises my eyes have ever beheld. I decided to start taking photographs of these beautiful daily works of art, and share them with family and friends. I’m not sure what I’ll do with all these beautiful pictures, but I have a feeling I will someday publish them as God’s Glory & Oklahoma’s Beauty!
I will never forget that I wouldn’t have seen one single glorious sunrise, if I were unwilling to serve someone else. Serve someone today, and look for the beauty and blessings that are always hidden behind our attitude.
Matthew 5:1-12 offers all of us the:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.